The recording of Ane Brun‘s new album, It All Starts With One would have been underway as early as 2010, were it not for Peter Gabriel and Ani DiFranco inviting Ane on tour. Much to the frustration of her fast-growing fan base, accumulated over the previous three studio album and periods of hard touring, Ane Brun’s own album had to wait. This, however, turned out to be an advantageous move with that year spent on the world tour giving Ane time to write additional songs and allowing for further work on those that already existed.
Her audience, however, may not have expected the consequently huge leap that new album, It All Starts With One, represents.
On the new album she says – “I’ve moved into new territories because it’s been 3 years since my last album, and lots of music has passed through me since then. I’ve tried new directions on stage and singing with other artists. I’ve been inspired to break my musical boundaries. I’ve wanted to take risks to get to new places.”
The result is her most extraordinary record to date. Produced by her friend Tobias Fröberg, it exhibits a bigger, more atmospheric sound, more extravagant arrangements and some of the most immediate melodies of her career.
Ane Brun was moving out of the traditional singer-songwriter suit as early as the last album, Changing of the Seasons, and Tobias Froberg completes that trip, and It All Starts With One allows for his own sound to be taken to a new level. He hired two drummers, Per Eklund (Lykke Li, Miike Snow) and Ola Hultgren (Loney Dear, thus Owls) to play together on most of the album’s songs. Martin Hederos (Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Tonbruket) was behind the organs. A large part of what takes place in the musical arrangements is due to the interaction between the evocative rhythm section and Hederos’ soaring piano. Froberg only wanted bass on a single song, creating space and movement for Ane’s exceptional voice, which was flanked by, among others, the sisters from First Aid Kid (Do You Remember) and José González (Worship).
The themes addressed on the record will be familiar to fans: “moving forward, dealing with things, difficult relationships, but also a lot about fighting and finding strength,” Brun summarises. “I am an optimistic person, but some of my music is written about rather pessimistic moments. I always tend to put in an element of hope in my darkness, though.” She admits that her evocative, impressionist work’s content is often very personal, but argues that, “It doesn’t feel like I reveal myself that much, because many of the lyrics are about seconds or minutes of my life, and only I know the whole picture. I don’t feel I’m leaving my diary out for everyone to see.”
Some of the songs were completed by January 2011, but most have been written in Ane’s writing studio in Stockholm in the January / February period of 2011. It was at this time that the Arab revolution started and Ane spoke of how affected she was by the courage and energy that people showed the world:
– For a long time I’d had an idea to write a song about how change begins. That it begins as a feeling or an idea from a person, requiring that it be the first small step at the beginning of the change process. One song was finished the same week as the revolution in Egypt began. The text fell into place when I followed what was going on there, explains Ane.
– It All Starts With One explored the dynamics involved in trying to find balance between embracing the independent without feeling lonely, and to keep oneself and ones core intact, whilst wanting to help someone in need. The album also includes an encouraged dose of passionate love, a celebration of language, a carnival of words and an attempt at reconciliation.
How does it feel, now that the album she has been involved in creating for so long is finally finished? Does she feel anxious?
“Not at all, laughs Ane. I am so incredibly proud of the finished product and can hardly wait to show it to the world”
Ane Brun – UK Tour November 2011
08 – Manchester, Deaf Institute
09 -Glasgow, King Tuts
10 – Birmingham HMV Institute, The Library
11 – London, Scala